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A Secret Kept    by Tatiana De Rosnay order for
Secret Kept
by Tatiana De Rosnay
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

It all begins with a seaside vacation for Parisians Melanie and Antoine. A weekend away to Noirmoutier Island, to celebrate Melanie's fortieth birthday. Brother and sister spending time together, staying at the same hotel, walking the beach, and recalling happier times when they were young. It has been thirty years since they were last on the island, their mother Clarisse then still alive. Although there are many happy memories, the vacation also triggers something unexpected and disturbing for Melanie. By the time the weekend is over, Melanie is distressed and agitated. On the drive home she summons up the courage to confide in Antoine, but loses control of the car and drives off the road.

In a small village hospital, Melanie is treated for mild amnesia and a broken back. Though shaken and upset, Antoine is otherwise fine. Their father arrives, distant and cold as usual. Antoine's ex-wife Astrid arrives with their three children. Antoine feels he is still in love with Astrid, but has a poor relationship with his surly teenagers. On the hospital grounds Antoine meets Angele, a sexy, street-wise mortician who teaches him about life, love, and death.

In a few weeks Melanie can go home, and she reveals what she remembered to Antoine. It involves an apparent affair their mother Clarisse had - the shocker is with whom Clarisse had the affair. When they were growing up, their mother's death was never spoken of and now Antoine wants to find out exactly how she died, so he begins to investigate on his own. Melanie wants no part of it, only desiring to move on. Antoine confronts his aging grandmother knowing she is holding back the truth. Coming from a wealthy family, with a high social standing, she tries to ward off any scandal.

Antoine and Melanie are burdened with the dark secret about their mother. Antoine must confront his past and repair his own relationship with his children. Melanie accepts what is and begins to work on the future with her ailing father. A Secret Kept is a story of family, the invisible ties that hold it together, and the power of a secret to change the future.

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